‘PNS Aslat’ a testament of Pak-China ever-lasting friendship: PM

KARACHI: Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif on Tuesday said the construction of F-22P frigate ‘Aslat’ with China’s assistance was a testament of the everlasting bond of friendship between the two countries.

The Prime Minister said Pakistan deeply valued the resolute Chinese support in all domains and expressed confidence that cooperation on defence would strengthen for improving peace and stability in the region.

Addressing at the ceremony of commissioning of the country’s first indiginously-built frigate PNS Aslat at Karachi Shipyard here, the Prime Minister said Pakistan’s foreign relations with China form a pillar of Pakistan’s foreign policy.

He said Pakistan’s strategic location could be only exploited to its advantage through development of maritime sector and a capable navy.

He said Pakistan Navy was effectively defending and acting as a source of security for international trade plying off the country’s coast.

The Prime Minister expressed satisfaction that the construction of Aslat frigate was completed within the contractual timeline.

He said bringing all four frigates into service within eight years was a remarkable achievement for a programme of this complexity and scale.

He commended the dedicated workers, engineers, technicians of Karachi and Hudong shipyards for their hard work, professionalism and dedication.

He appreciated the contribution of Ministry of Defence Production and Project Directorate at Naval Headquarters, who worked purposefully to make this programme a success.

He thanked the team of China Shipbuilding Trading Company for their support and particularly Wang Dieje, Assistant President of China Shipbuilding Trading Company for his dedication and expert handling of the construction of fourth frigate in Pakistan.